Sweet Micro-Mindful Moments (MM&M’s) Emerged out of my Life-Changing Event
My 2.0 version of Mindfulness emerged out of a new reality I had awakened to in early January 2012. I found myself in a Kaiser Intensive Care Unit in Roseville, California, on life support with my wrists tied to the bed railings to keep me from dismantling the very apparatus keeping me alive. I had been given a tracheotomy so I could breathe independent of my mouth or nose, I had a PIC line in my arm to receive fluids and medications and my lungs were two-thirds occluded. I had severe Sepsis, severe pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. My chances for living were less than 10%.
Mindfulness played a major role in my recovery. Prior to this event, I had been living a healthy Southern California lifestyle, was a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and had a well-established career in Orange County Social Services Agency (SSA). For years, though not overly health conscious, I had started my day in quiet devotion, prayer, and meditation, I usually made healthy choices in what I ate, routinely exercised, and attempted to maintain a work-life balance.
In the hospital I had way too much time for ‘quiet contemplation’ to reflect on what I used to do or worry about what I was now going to do. I realized I could too easily get caught up in thoughts of past accomplishments and achievements. I found these ruminations only generated uncertainty and a fearful fragile vulnerability. If I was to write a new life story and create a vital future for myself, I needed to interrupt my negative thoughts and increase the frequency and focus of solution-oriented forwarding thoughts and actions.
Self-care seemed to be the more important focus of my attention as I began ‘writing’ my post-hospitalization narrative. I discovered that frequently repeated short mindful moments were invaluable in readily shifting my mindset. I realized I could turn any thought, any action into a micro-mindful moment. When I returned to work I began to insert these short bursts of energy throughout my day – pushing away from the computer for 30 seconds to relax and breath, listening to a single song, stretching for a few minutes and numerous others were refreshing, resetting, and eventually redefining what mindfulness meant to me. I call these sweet energy bursts Micro-Mindful Moments or MM&M’s.
Within a year of my life-threatening event I co-authored the book RE – the Wisdom in Rethinking Your Life in which I wrote a chapter on Mindfulness.
With just a few sweet MM&M’s inserted throughout your day, you will not only begin to regain and sustain optimum levels of performance levels, you will up-regulate your capacity to connect, collaborate, and partner with others.